Introduction

Welcome to ROAM Mobility 5 Lesson programme.

This programme is split into an introduction, assessment and the 5 lessons/movement series. The course is designed to be taken in the following order:

  1. Bend/Bear - as it is the most simplest lesson and contains safety guidelines for people with back pain.
  2. Push/Crane - second most easiest and contains safety guidelines for people with shoulder pain.
  3. Lunge/pull/Monkey - still quite easy and like the Bear and the Crane they carry over to the more complex last two lessons.
  4. Squat/Tiger - the squat is a key life movement pattern and one in that most people struggle to complete. We unlock the secrets to deeper and safer squats.
  5. Twist/Dragon - spinal rotation is the focus of this series, the exercises overlap with the other animal series and to empower greater rotational range of active movement.

All the lessons have been designed to be learnt through video.

When you go through each stretch treat it like an assessment by making a note of your tight side, and then stretch the tight side twice as much.


R.O.A.M method stands for range of active movement and the aim of improving the way people move in a safe and gradual manner.

Range of motion (ROM) is a simple definition of flexibility; It is both good and bad to have full anatomical range of motion:

Good: Movement is pain-free, graceful, fluid, easy and a joy to do and to watch.

Bad: Under conditions of fatigue, poor technique and movements that express high speed, power and agility stability is provided by the joints locking onto (impinging) themselves. Locking of the joints leads to joint pain, most commonly at the:

  • place either side of the lumbar spine where it meets the pelvic bones (sacroiliac joint- SIJ)
  • shoulder joint (aromio-clavicular - AC).
  • middle lower back behind the belly button (Lumbar spine 3 L3).
  • place where the lumbar and the thoracic spines meet (Thoracolumbar junction TLJ), as a false-fulcrum, or joint is created when the joints lock at extreme extension (think female gymnastic finishing poses).
  • the back of the knees when knees are hyperextended.
  • ankles joints roll easily.
  • the inside of the knee when they buckle inwards .

Simply said "the cost of flexibility is stability".

The other side of the flexibility coin - (less than full ROM) pertains to most people and likewise there is a good and bad (mostly bad):

Good: the body and its joints are very stable.

Bad: movement looks stiff, awkward and ungraceful because movement restrictions lead to the brain creating compensations to perform tasks in postures that lead to pain most commonly at the:

  • Lower back (Lumbar vertebrae 5 or 4) from disc disbursement when bending forward with a rounded back (the lumbar spine compensates for tight hamstrings)
  • Shoulder joint impingement when lifting objects over the height of the head (the shoulder compensates for tight thoracic spine, lats and pecs).
  • in the muscles when speed and power momentum tears past tissue and nervous system tolerance.

Muscle imbalances where the muscles on one side of a joint are strong, dominant and overused (facilitated) and the muscles on the other side of the joint are weak and underused (inhibited) increase compensations. The longer you ignore these too much, too little ROM compensations the greater the risk of injury, the smaller your periphery of movement, and your posture will hunch and your joy of movement will shrink.

This mobility course is the first step in the ROAM curriculum and aims to show you how to increase both range and stability of motion, which as a gymnast I knew as active flexibility and hence the "A" is added to ROM to produce ROAM. Active flexibility can also be defined as "mobility".

I consider mobility as the starting point for both sedentary and elite athletes (and all the people in between) as it corrects and prevents muscle imbalances, encourages alignment and provides a platform of flexibility, stability, posture and coordination to move from.

The ROAM method is a curriculum that progressively expands your range of active movement by systematically adding in complexity and intensity of movement (strength, coodination, power, speed, agility, accuracy) that builds towards the fullest expression of movement, using a variety of equipment and formats that I can think of, in a safe and enjoyable way.

The Leaping Man icon is a symbol of this exuberance and my mission to "awaken the joy of movement for life".

Welcome to my ROAM method mobility course. I truly hope you enjoy it and the process of improving the way you move.This course is content rich. It has quite a bit of detailed instructions. Do the best you can, there is no intention to overwhelm just to get you enjoy moving safely.

Basic Back Pain

There are two types basic types of back pain that you need to be aware of when exercising to prevent injury.

  1. Forward bending pain. Mostly likely a disc injury. (Be cautious bending forward)
  2. Backward bending pain. Most likely a sacroiliac joint injury. (Be cautious bending backwards.)

This video provides you with some understanding of these types of back pain and what to do about them.